Orinda Art Scene – February 2022

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February in the Art Galleries at the Orinda Library and Wilder

Heartwarming Art Gallery at the Orinda Library 15th Arts Ambassadors Show
    The Lamorinda Arts Council (Council) presents K-8 student artwork from Orinda and Moraga schools as part of the Arts Ambassadors (AA) exhibit in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library during February.
    Orinda student artwork will be displayed Feb. 1 – 15; Moraga student artwork will be on display Feb. 15 – 28. Due to COVID-19, there will not be a public reception to award AA ribbons. Rather, David Wilson, art educator at Del Rey Elementary in Orinda, will award ribbons to students who have submitted artwork to the gallery in their school classrooms. In Moraga, visual arts educator Moose Wesler will do the same for K-8 students in their school classrooms. To learn more about AA 2022, visit www.lamorindaarts.org/student-exhibits/.
    Wilson is the organizer of K-8 Orinda student artwork submitted for the 2022 AA exhibit.
“The art teachers in Orinda are thrilled to have students’ work up in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library. It has been a challenging few years for our students, families and staff. Art has been a beautiful refuge for our students,” said Wilson. “As art teachers, we have been moved and delighted by the creativity and joy that our young artists have brought to their work in our classes. We are amazed and moved by what they have created.” 
    Wesler, who also teaches visual arts, animation and video, not only organized the artwork from K-8 Moraga students, but is a longtime supporter of the Council’s AA program.
    Wesler also teaches printmaking at the Center for Community Arts in Walnut Creek and has exhibited her prints in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library.
    “I think that these years of COVID-19 have shown us how important art is to people. Folks in lockdown hungered for movie theaters, plays and museum visits. Teaching art online, as I did, was a release for many of my students,” she said. “They were able to use the time to create in a relaxed atmosphere, away from the ongoing stresses. My admiration for the creativity of children continues; and each assignment brings out the individuality of every student. That’s what I love to see.”
    AA 2022 is a colorful way to provide the public with an overview of the visual arts programs in Orinda and Moraga schools. As you can see by the photo, the delight with which K-8 students accept their AA ribbons is sure to warm the hearts of anyone who witnesses it.
    AA, which began in 2006 and has gone through many iterations since, has been encouraged, expanded and supported by organizations such as the former Educational Foundation of Orinda, Lafayette Partners in Education, Moraga Education Foundation, local parents, school districts, art educators and students, as well as the Council.
    The Council expressed its thanks to Wilson and Wesler for their dedication keeping art alive for young artists, especially during COVID-19.
    To learn more about the Council, visit www.lamorindaarts.org. This exhibit runs Feb. 1 – 28 during normal Library hours in the Art Gallery at the Orinda Library at 26 Orinda Way. Hours are Mon. – Thur., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fri. – Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., closed Sundays. The Library is closed Mon., Feb. 21. Call 925.254.2184 for more information about the Library, or visit www.ccclib.org. Email the curators with questions at gallery@lamorindaarts.org.

(Elana O’Loskey, Photographer)
(L-R) Top row, volunteer art educators Larysa Larson and Moose Wesler and 2019 Moraga School District Superintendent Bruce K. Burns. Bottom row, seven elementary school girls and boys showing off their Lamorinda Arts Council Arts Ambassadors award ribbons for their artwork on display in the Feb. 2019 Art Gallery at the Orinda Library.

Wilder Gallery: Valerie Corvin’s “Whispers of the Heart” Contemporary Art
    The Lamorinda Arts Council invites you to view Valerie Corvin’s virtual exhibit at http://www.lamorindaarts.org/online-galleries through Feb. 28. You will discover she has added new abstract work to her January exhibit. In-person viewings can be arranged by emailing Curator Aniston Breslin at wildergallery@lamorindaarts.org.
    Corvin says she has been inspired by Arshile Gorky, who said, “Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see with his eyes. Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond what is tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.” 
    Corvin described her resulting process of creating abstract art: “I build layers of marks, first bold dark marks, and then colorful shapes and a variety of lines to create a sense of history and a composition that communicates a sense of natural and unique forms from nature.” Corvin added, “The ultimate outcome of my process is artworks that give the viewer feelings that uplift and resound.”
    Corvin first responded to her love of art by earning a Master’s Degree in Museum Administration. She worked in that field before pursuing studio work. She managed the visual arts program at the Piedmont Center for the Arts for eight years and currently a trustee of the Oakland Art Museum. Her fine art studies, initiating two decades of painting since, began at California College of the Arts. She exhibits regularly in the Bay Area and beyond. Keep up with her at www.valeriecorvin.com and on Instagram at valerie_corvin_abstracts.
    The Wilder Art and Garden Center is located at 20 Orinda Fields Way. The exhibit runs Feb. 1 – 28 and is virtual because the building is not open due to COVID-19 restrictions. Viewings by appointment with Curator Aniston Breslin can be arranged by request at anistonbreslin@berkeley.edu. Questions? Call the Lamorinda Arts Council at 925.359.9940.

Elana O’Loskey can be reached at business.orinda@gmail.com.

(Courtesy of Valerie Corvin)
When I view Summer Meadow, Corvin’s 30” x 40” mixed media on canvas, I am swept into a thousand colors hidden inside any summer day. What do you see?

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